Archive for September, 2012

black bean brownies

We’ve learned that I’m terrible at food photography, so here’s some black bean brownies from Flickr: cheffreeman


Ok, I didn’t come up with this one on my own, but I’ve decided to publish a black bean brownie recipe. Everyone who knows me knows that I LOVE brownies. They were one of the hardest foods for me to give-up. But, every now and then, a black bean one, which has less fat and more protein than regular brownies, can’t hurt.

And here’s the kicker, these little puppies are moist and taste DELICIOUS. I was really skeptical at first as everyone else is when I tell them what they are, but you’ll never taste the black beans.



  1. Preheat oven according to brownie mix packaging.
  2. Empty can of black beans, liquid and all, into a blender and blend the hell out of them.
  3. Mix the blended back beans into the brownie mix.
  4. Put in a 9 x 9 round pan (recommend) that has only been sprayed on the bottom (old baking trick from my grandmother).
  5. Bake according to brownie package directions. Note: Your brownies will not look the same as if you baked them with the egg, oil and water. Mine looked fluffier.
  6. Enjoy (watch your portion size)!

I’m too lazy to do this on my own, but click here to see the nutritional breakdown.





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Emerald On the Go product samples

Emerald contacted me after seeing my inclusion of them in my Travel Tips for Hypoglycemics and Healthy Eaters and asked if they could send me some samples of their new product, Emerald Breakfast on the Go. Of course I said yes! One of my male cousins loves these, so I was excited to try them.

I received a package including:

  • 1 pouch of Blueberries & Crème
  • 1 pouch Maple & Brown Sugar
  • 5 pouches (1 box) of Apples & Cinnamon



The packages are very attractive and water-repellant, which made them perfect for my trip to the water park last weekend (yes, with my medical alert, they let me bring food in). They are a good size and easy to open.



The packages are about 190 calories, have about 31 carbs, 5-8 grams of fat, and 3-5 grams of protein depending on the flavor variety.  Compared to the thick-cut oats I eat every day, the calories and carbs are the same, but the fat is twice as much in the Breakfast on the Go and there are 7 grams of protein in thick cut oatmeal.

Considering that a hypoglycemic needs a minimum of 7 grams of protein at every meal, the 3-5 g in the packets is not enough. You still need to eat something else with it that has protein in it. I pair my breakfast with skim latte that has 8 oz of milk (7 grams of protein) in it, so either option is ok for me. 



Even though nutritionally the two are mostly similar, the portion size of the Emerald On the Go packs left me wanting. I took the product out of the package and it equaled a ½ cup of food. It was very disappointing next to my heaping bowl of thick-cut oatmeal.



Here’s where the Emerald On the Go packs really shined.

The Blueberries and Crème reminded me of my favorite cereal, Blueberry Morning. Oh that brought back fond memories. And, I could get the same taste with less calories and carbs than the cereal.

The Maple and Brown Sugar pack reminded me a lot of sweet granola, another favorite of mine, so I also enjoyed this one.

The Apples and Cinnamon pack was a little salty for my taste (and I LOVE salt) when you got a mouthful of just the almonds. But, if mixed with the other ingredients in the pack, they tasted great.


Bottom Line

If you are in a hurry, the Emerald Breakfast on the Go packs taste wonderful and are very convenient.  But,this shouldn’t be your sole source of breakfast. There’s not enough protein to keep your blood sugar even and to see you through to your next snack or meal. So, if you are seeking a convenient option, this may be a good choice for you, but pair it with a glass of milk or something else with protein in it.

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…you need to get down on the floor for your ab exercises and instinctively do a side fall instead of just lowering yourself like a normal person.


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Quinoa salad (and it looks like the right portion of quinoa). Photo from Flickr karenandbrademerson

Hypoglycemics need to eat protein every three hours along with carbs. I can only eat a certain amount of chicken, eggs, nuts and cheese before I start getting really bored with my food (for a good list of protein sources, see Outline of a Hypoglycemic Diet) and need to try new things. My newest venture was quinoa (keen-WAH). It’s a grain, but packs an amazing amount of protein as well!

It was a little difficult to find in the grocery store, but I eventually found it next to the couscous. I was shocked at how tiny the bag was and thought, “Really? This is it?”. I followed package instructions and used 3/4 cup of the dry quinoa. To my amazement, it expanded quite a bit! The serving size for quinoa is 1/2 cup, and the dry mix expanded to 2 cups (4 servings).

The taste is very bland and slightly unusual, but I found I really enjoyed it once I added a little bit of olive oil and salt. My only complaint? A 1/2 cup is 47g of carbs, which is pretty much my whole carb count for a meal. Plus it packs in 12g of protein in a 1/2 cup, which means you really don’t need any meat with it. So, what do I do for the rest of the meal? That’s only 200 calories. I opted for a lot of non-starch veggies.

Bottom line: I’m definitely going to add quinoa into my diet mix from now on.

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